EXTREME SAILING SERIES: TEAM OMAN AIR GOES TOP.
Oman Air came up with a superlative performance on the second day of the seventh and final Act of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series to grab lead in the seven-strong international fleet on Friday in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Following its second-place finish on the opening day, Oman Air, skippered by Phil Robertson, reached new heights at Los Cabos as it claimed two runner-up spots and ended the day with a thrilling race win to take the top spot.
Soaring across the sun drenched sea, the Oman Air squad took down previously leading Red Bull Sailing Team in the final two races of the day, ruining the Austrian crew's clean sweep of four consecutive bullets since the Los Cabos Act opened on Thursday.
Oman Air finished the day tied on points with the Austrians but is ahead on more podium finishes (six against five) as it goes into the penultimate day of the ten-month long stadium racing championship.
'It's really good to take the lead,' skipper Phil Robertson said. 'I think we kept it pretty consistent today [Friday]. We've been in the top three in every race so far, so it's a good place to start in a tough fleet. 'It's going to be a big push over the next few days to get as much in as we can. We're at the front now but our position is not safe at all.'
Besides Robertson, Team Oman Air's crew comprises Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierz-bowski, Stewart Dodson and Nasser al Mashari.
It may have lost its clear lead, but opposing Red Bull Sailing Team is calm, collected and ready to smash its way through day three. 'We haven't been in this position for a long time so we are enjoying it,' said mainsail trimmer and double Olympic gold medallist, Hans Peter Steinacher.
'All the others are constantly looking at the overall results, but we can afford to relax. It's allowing us to sail our best out there.'
There was some unexpected turbulence, however, for Swiss team Alinghi. The current overall series front-runner fell from its usual lofty heights as its scoresheet became peppered with results outside the podium.
SAP Extreme Sailing Team is currently ranked second in the overall series and just seven points behind Alinghi in the Act.
Los Cabos, standings after Day Two [six races]: 1 Oman Air (65 points), 2 Red Bull Sailing Team (65), 3 Alinghi (59), 4 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (52), 5 INEOS Rebels UK (52), 6 US Team Extreme (44), 7 Team Mexico (41).